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Raspberries growing on plant.
Want to grow sweet and tangy raspberries in your garden? Find out how to plant, grow, prune and harvest raspberries in Australia with this comprehensive guide.

 

What you need to know about raspberries

Name: raspberries (Rubus idaeus).

Plant type: deciduous cane shrub.

Height: canes up to 1.5–2m.

Foliage: dark green leaves with toothed margins.

Climate: prefers cold temperate climates, but can be grown anywhere apples grow.

Soil: prefers deep, well-drained soil enriched with compost and decomposed manure.

Position: full sun.

Flowering and fruiting: as their name suggests, summer varieties bear their crop in summer, while autumn varieties are harvested in autumn.

Feeding: apply a mulch of compost and well-aged manure in winter, and an application of slow-release fertiliser for fruiting plants in spring.  

Watering: water regularly during fruiting to ensure berries are lush and full.

Appearance and characteristics of raspberries

Raspberries grow on thorned or thornless canes, just like blackberries. Train raspberries up a trellis or fence to contain their growth and help them maintain a vertical habit. As the canes are naturally spreading, pruning is critical to crop production and plant maintenance. Prune after harvest, and always net developing fruit to prevent birds stealing your entire harvest.

Close up of a raspberry plant.

How to grow raspberries

  • Grow raspberries in rows running north to south to maximise exposure to sun throughout the entire day. 
  • Install a trellis or a couple of wires spaced around 50–70cm apart to support the canes, and to keep their growth in check. 

When to plant raspberries

Plant canes in winter while dormant.

How to plant raspberries

  1. Soak bare-root plants in a seaweed solution for about 1 hour prior to planting. 
  2. Space plants about 1m apart, digging a hole at least 30 × 30cm. 
  3. Backfill a mound in the centre of the hole and check that the finished soil level is equal to the height the plants were growing in the field or pot. 
  4. Put a plant in each hole and fan the roots out and down, then backfill with soil. 
  5. Firm the soil down and water to remove any air pockets. 
  6. Mulch to reduce weed growth. 

Caring for raspberries

Water regularly during fruit production and when weather is dry. Fertilise in spring with a complete fertiliser to encourage spring growth. Mulch with compost and decomposed manure in winter while dormant.  

How and when to prune raspberry plants

  • Autumn fruiting varieties such as “Autumn Bliss” and “Heritage” should be pruned to the ground in winter. 
  • Summer fruiting varieties such as “Willamette” and “Skeena” should be pruned after fruiting. 
  • Remove the canes that cropped this year, but leave the new canes, as these will bear next year's crop. These can then be tied to your trellis.

Diseases and pests affecting raspberries

Raspberries are prone to fungal problems, especially in warm climates. Space plants at least 1m apart and train the canes upwards to improve air flow. Avoid overhead watering. As a preventative, treat with a copper spray in winter.

Propagating raspberries

Raspberries can be readily propagated by suckers; these are small plants that readily develop off the spreading root system. Remove suckers to prevent the canes spreading throughout the garden. These suckers can be shared with family and friends, or used to replace your own canes when they tire in around 7–8 years.

Safety tip

After applying fertiliser, delay harvesting for a few days and rinse well before eating. If using products to deal with pests, diseases or weeds, always read the label, follow the instructions carefully and wear suitable protective equipment. Store all garden chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.

If you like this then try

Strawberries: the tastiest berry to eat fresh from your garden.

Blueberries: nature's superfoods, packed with antioxidants and filled with flavour. 

Apples: enjoy the same climate and growing conditions as raspberries.

Start planting today

Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!

 

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.